2017 NHL Playoffs Round 1 Series Betting Picks

The 2017 NHL playoffs are here!  The NHL playoffs are my favourite time of the year and they also tend to be my most successful when it comes to NHL betting.  I consistenly do very well with series predictions and I expect this year to be no different.  I tossed down an 8 series parlay today that pays out 240/1, so if I do manage to go 8 for 8 I’ll be rolling in the dough.

***If you enjoy picking winners and winning money make sure you enter our free NHL bracket contest.  There’s $750 in prizes to be won with the top 15 paid out!  Here are the details.

All of the odds below are from Bet365.com.  I’m using Bet365 for all of my NHL betting these playoffs.  Also, for anyone out there who doesn’t get the games on TV, Bet365 streams every game live through their site as long as you have an account with them.

Eastern Conference

Washington Capitals vs Toronto Maple Leafs

I’m not going to take long breaking down this series.  The Caps are the best team in the NHL and I don’t see them getting bounced by the Maple Leafs.  Toronto has the ability and fire power up front to possibly steal a game, but I think this one is either a sweep for the Caps or else they get the job done in 5.  This one won’t be close.  The odds for the Caps already dropped from 1.27 to 1.23 over the course of the day and I could see them down to 1.20 or so by the start of the series.

Play: Capitals 1.23

Pittsburgh Penguins vs Columbus Blue Jackets

The loss of Kris Letang is a huge issue for the Penguins who simply don’t have the talent on the back end to make a deep run this year.  The Blue Jackets are stumbling into the playoffs, having lost 6 in a row before their comeback victory over the Leafs on Sunday.  That said, I think that game vs the Leafs had enough of a playoff atmosphere that it was good to see the Jackets dig deep and find a way to win.  I think that will give them a lot of confidence heading into the playoffs.

The Jackets forward depth, speed and pressure should cause fits for the Penguins back end and the Pens will need a lot of offense from Crosby and company to keep up with the Jackets in this one.  The Pens have the high end talent up front that can steal a series, but I think the Jackets are the better team through and through.  This one is a coin toss for me, so I’ll gladly take the 2.50 odds on the Jackets.

Play: Blue Jackets 2.50

Montreal Canadiens vs New York Rangers

This is the most even series according to the oddsmakers, which makes sense considering the teams are only 1 point apart in the standings.  I give the edge to the Habs because Carey Price can steal games, while Henrik Lundqvist has looked shaky at times this season.  The Habs seem to have figured things out under Claude Julien and I just don’t like the Rangers form heading into the playoffs.  The Rangers only won 4 of 14 games before their meaningless win over the Pens on Sunday.  They aren’t playing well and I expect the Habs to take advantage.

Play: Canadiens 1.74

Ottawa Senators vs Boston Bruins

Erik Karlsson will be back for the playoffs and when he’s in the lineup and Craig Anderson is playing well, anything is possible for the Sens.  Ottawa won all 4 games against the Bruins this season and I think they match up very well with Boston from the top to bottom of the lineup.  If the Sens are able to keep Bergeron and Marchand from hooking up for more than 1 combined goal each game then this is the Senators series to lose.  Torey Krug is injured and that’s a huge problem for the Bruins, especially on the powerplay.

The Senators are getting healthy at the right time, they have the star power, goaltending and depth to go deep.  I really like the Sens at these odds.

Play: Senators 2.60

Western Conference

Chicago Blackhawks vs Nashville Predators

The Preds struggled a bit down the stretch, but when this team is on they are one of the best in the business.  The Preds are a complete team from top to bottom and they have the speed and defensive corps to hang with and upset the Blackhawks.  Speaking of struggling down the stretch, the Blackhawks lost their final four games heading into the playoffs and have only won 2 of theri last 8.

Even without the odds I’m going back and forth in my head as to who I think will win this series.  When you add in the odds I think the smart money has to be on the Preds.  This will be a very tight series and one that I am excited to watch.

Play: Predators 2.70

St. Louis Blues vs Minnesota Wild

Since their coaching change the Blues have been one of the best teams in the NHL.  They won 3 straight games heading into the playoffs and are 15-2-2 since a 5 game losing streak back at the end of February.

The Wild ended their season with 4 wins, but these were against some weak teams (Avs x 2, Canes, Coyotes).  Before those 4 wins the Wild were 3-10-2 in their previous 15.  I’m not convinced that this Wild team is fully fixed after that poor stretch and I think running into the Blues this early will result in a quick exit for Minnesota.

Play: Blues 2.20

Anaheim Ducks vs Calgary Flames

The Flames really turned their season around after losing in Montreal on January 24th.  The team was 24-24-3 after that game and finished the season 45-33-4 to qualify for the playoffs.  That’s quite the run, but I think just making the playoffs is a success for the Flames and I don’t see them advancing any further.

The Ducks beat the Flames in back to back games last week and went 3-1 against the Flames on the season.  The Ducks have won 4 straight heading into the playoffs and are 9-0-2 in their last 11.  This Ducks team is built for the playoffs and the way they are playing at both ends of the ice I expect them to make quick work of Calgary.

I see a Ducks sweep in this one.

Play: Ducks 1.58

Edmonton Oilers vs San Jose Sharks

The Sharks were able to pull out a few wins heading into the playoffs going 3-1 in April, but the loss was to this Edmonton Oilers team (and the wins were over the Canucks x2 and Flames).  Before those Canucks wins the Sharks had won just 1 of 9 games in the second half of March (and the win was in OT).  I just don’t see the Sharks as a team that is coming into the playoffs in good form.  Last year they seemed poised heading into the playoffs, but I just don’t see that from the team this year.

The Oilers, on the other hand, are playing some great hockey!  Edmonton is 12-2-0 since March 14th and they’re playing some amazing hockey with Connor McDavid leading the way.  The Oilers are scoring at will, with the back end playing very solid hockey as well.  I think McDavid will get the best of both Burns and Vlasic in this series and I also expect the second line with Eberle and Nuge to play a big factor in this series.

The Oilers are the future and the Sharks are the past.

Play: Oilers 1.71

I plan to go 8 for 8 with these picks and hit a big payday.  Join me and let’s celebrate a big win!

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